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Small Bee

2 responses

  1. Terri Warren

    Bees are very colorful . I never realized that the eyes looked like this. Thanks for letting me see a bee up close. They are still somewhat scary and this is the closest I will ever get to a bee.

    June 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm

  2. Heya Joel! Shepherd Susie sent me over here. WHOA! What amazing photos! However, an entomologist you are not… Those “bees” are actually flies. Here’s how you know: flies (including mosquitos) belong to the order Diptera, which means “two wings” (I think it’s Greek, but I can’t remember). Most insects with wings have four, including bees, which are in the order Hymenoptera (“clear wing” I think). The other thing that clearly tells me it is a fly is that in Dipterans the second pair of wings is reduced to a structure called a haltere. This looks like a tiny ball on a pedicel and acts kind of like a gyroscope. They are a stunning bright yellow on this fly. There are other things that look more fly-like, but if you don’t spend much time looking at insects, you might not see these as easily as the wing thing. The very cool thing is that these are bee mimics. It’s an evolutionary adaptation. And of course, that you took such a wonderful photo!

    June 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm

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